Addictions, teaching learning.  This short two and a half minute video is one of the best shorts about addiction I have seen.  It comes at a very important time in our society when addiction is eating our society alive.  Deepak Chopra is a very good teacher.  He is not a god, or a guru or an evil secularist.  He is a MD, who studied meditation and believes in a broader definition of Creation.  He is not an enemy of Christians or of any faith based group who believe in monotheist peaceful coexistence.  

 As a devout Christian and Maronite Catholic I can understand how some would be turned off by his teaching. At times he speaks of Christ head, or oneness or mindfulness which sounds much like Buddhist teaching. This language and concepts can be found in Eastern Christian Theology.   But remember, just like when you sat in Math class or Art or History and learned somethings, decided other things were not worth learning and daydreamed without listening.   Information is present for us to learn. Then we give it to our Creator, the Trinity who dwells within and amongst us. We then discern it as truth or false teaching. When it is truth it helps us deal better with the world. We have the freedom in America to take it or leave it. Nothing more, nothing less.  As Christians we also have the freedom to seek and ask questions. Learning, teaching is still one of the most important activities of our society. With all education we must be aware of false teachers. That is the danger of giving our full attention to worldly spiritual teachers. Some are false teacher seeking your attention, wanting to sell you something or even leading you to destructive paths.   Learn what you can but do not forget….  none of what you hear is ever a replacement for a loving relationship with Jesus Christ that is nurtured and made whole by prayer, forgiveness, and regular participation in the Eucharist celebration that occurs weekly at the Diving Liturgy.

subdeacon stephen

Right or Wrong? from God or Man?

I am amazed by what has transpired.  I continue to let God lead my life and although at times the direction seems to be gray… or not absolutely direct from God, but, when I pray and let go, it becomes much more clear.  There is a right and wrong in our daily life. My liberal view of the past seems to have been more about fear of conflict and disagreement.  I just did not want to fight with people about who I am or what I think.  This stems from my Dad, who I could never say no to, but that is another story.  Now, when I stay true to my beliefs, I find that it usually it is accepted and there is no conflict or at least the conflict is more about my lack of trust in my message or discernment of God’s plan.  The more I trust the more clear the message is.

I can’t help but think that this may in fact be a function of my mind simply discerning what I want with God as a standard.  That may in fact be the same process.  Thinking about my actions or daily activity and comparing my decisions to God’s standard of perfection, Love, compassion and faith appears to be the same as letting God lead my life. How do I know it is God?  I know through my prayer, worship and contemplative practices.

This is a very interesting discernment because I recently started reading a novel called The Babylonian Codex.  Kind of a take off from  It is a novel about American government and an alleged rightwing Bible toting conspiracy that is directly connected to the theft of all the antiquities in Iraq.   The novels premise is fiction, yet it had an amazing amount of similarity to our secular vs God culture. Yet it painted the God inspired as a truly satanic force because it focused on demons, war and killing non believers.  Kind of like an an underground led force similar to Al Qaida. They told a story of how the military led by these rogue crazies destroyed an ancient antiquities site outside Babylon with bulldozers and the like completely disregarding the historical significance of the site.  Did this happen? I can’t go there. Sadam Hussein was a very bad man. He did not protect the antiquities either.  Some day the truth will be told.

This morning I was reading the novel again.  It is coming to the final battle between the good guys and bad guys.  I do love it when the good guys win.   I decided to Google the Babylonian Codex which let me to the novel first AND then the Hammurabi Code.  The link referenced an article in the Jewish Quarterly which opined that: ” with the enactment and acceptance of the Hammurabi code  man began to emerge from the complete dependence on God as the source of all law.” Since God up to this point had been interpreted by religious leaders, laws were issued from the perspective of a few. Thus we had tyrannical society or submissive society or somewhere in between depending who was in charge or at least considered in charge because of money or an army or other political power.  But was their rule always right and true?  That is what is debatable.  Do humans define what is right or wrong or does God.  Some might answer this question by saying humans define what is right or wrong with inspiration from God.  The secularists say humans determine what is right and wrong through rational thinking and each persons conscious.  That actually is the teaching of the Catholic catechism. (see my earlier blog) Unfortunately, human rational thinking and conscious can be incorrectly formed and influenced by social and intellectual pressure.  So how do we know if we are right or wrong?   We don’t know we only can believe and have faith that our conscious discernment is well formed and in-keeping with God. Through prayer without ceasing and mindful choices if we can honestly say we do that daily, as much as possible, we are on the right track.